Call for Participants: Advocacy Training for Young European Activists

March 2021, Online

The Assembly of European Regions and JEF Europe are organising a training on advocacy that will be held online during the first week of March 2021 (from the 4th to the 6th of March, final dates will be agreed and shared in due time) as part of the project “Y-FED: Europe is what we make of it”. The training is free of charge and it will offer 30 young citizens the possibility to strengthen their knowledge of the European Youth Strategy and its Youth Goals, to boost their advocacy skills and develop an advocacy plan to be implemented within their local and regional authorities, as well as to take part in an international political dialogue involving regional and local policy-makers from across Europe.

About the Assembly of European Regions

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent interregional organisation in broader Europe, with around 140 regional authorities as members from 30 countries. Established in 1985, AER is a forum for regional politicians to engage in interregional cooperation and to advocate regional interests on the European stage.

About the project

The project “Y-FED: Europe is what we make of it” aims to bring the EU closer to its young citizens by developing a proposal for an improved institutional framework of the Union in line with the European Youth Goals. The initiative, supported by an Erasmus+ “European Youth Together” grant, will be implemented in the years 2020-2021 through a series of capacity-building training courses, public policy hackathons, a large-scale simulation of a reformed EU and advocacy actions. The project partners comprise 18 civil society organisations as well as 2 networks of European and regional decision-makers.

The main aims are thus:

  • Bring the EU closer to its citizens by raising awareness of the EU institutional framework and advocate for its reform based on young people’s recommendations.
    ● Raise awareness of the European Youth Goals (EYGs) and support their implementation by embedding them in the reformed EU institutional model and bringing them from the European to the local level.

To achieve these objectives, the project offers young citizens the possibility to develop proposals for a reformed EU that embeds the EYGs in its institutional framework and decision-making model. At the same time, it provides youth with the necessary skills to participate and influence political dialogues and decisions.

About the training

Promoting the active participation of young people in decisions and actions at local and regional level is essential to build a more democratic, inclusive and prosperous society. Participation in democratic life is more than voting, hence, active citizenship is fostered by having the right, the resources, and the opportunity to participate and influence in decision-making processes, as to be engaged in actions that contribute to building a better society.

To provide young citizens with the necessary competences and resources to boost their active citizenship, AER is organising a training on advocacy at the regional and European level. The training will be offered to 30 young citizens from 15 different countries across Europe, including mainly Bulgaria, Finland, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia, Germany and Spain.

It will be held in the first week of March (from the 4th to the 6th of March, final dates will be agreed and shared in due time) in an online learning format, and it will be conducted in English.

Throughout the training, young citizens will develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to become Youth-Ambassadors in their local and regional contexts. At the same time they will design, organise and implement advocacy actions at a local and regional level. As a result of the training, participants will:

  • Strengthen advocacy skills
  • Strengthen advocacy tools
  • Become acquainted with the European Youth Goals
  • Develop knowledge on the principles of multi-level governance and subsidiarity
  • Develop the skills to interact with decision-makers
  • Develop an advocacy plan

Modules and activities of the training

The training course will adopt methodologies from non-formal education to strengthen participants’ advocacy competencies. It will include sessions on the European Youth Strategy and its Youth Goals leading to the development of regional and local advocacy plans focused on one out of the eleven European Youth Goals, ideally goal 9, Space and Participation for All.

The training will be composed of three modules covered in three sessions:

  • Session 1 – Europe and youth: The European Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and the European Youth Goals.
  • Session 2 – Introduction to advocacy: How can young people be engaged in the political development of their region and of Europe?
  • Session 3 – Development of an advocacy plan.

After the completion of three modules, participants will attend the AER Spring Bureau Meeting on 17th March 2020. The meeting brings together around 100 local and regional policymakers and trainees will have the opportunity to take part in an international political dialogue and build important connections with policymakers from different European regions.

Follow-up Activities

The participants of this training course will be a group of 30 young citizens keen to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to become Youth-Ambassadors in their local and regional contexts and design, organise and implement advocacy actions at a local and regional level.

In the selection of the participants, priority will be given to members of national and regional sections from Young European Federalists (JEF), and members of the Assembly of European Regions-Youth Regional Network (YRN). The rest of the participants will be young representatives from regional councils.

Gender balance will be ensured in the selection process of the participants, as well as the geographical balance.

Specific requirements for the participants

  • Be aged between 18 and 30 years old;
  • Be a member of JEF sections and/or member of the AER-YRN and/or representative of a youth regional council;
  • Based in one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia, or Spain as well as Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy and Latvia;
  • Be able to work and communicate fluently in English;
  • Have some knowledge about the EU institutions;
  • Be passionate about politics;
  • Be willing to engage in the political dialogue at the regional and European level and advocate for youth priorities.

How to apply?

New Deadline: 26 February 23:59 CET

If you have any questions please contact b.sandu@aer.eu or elitsa.hadzhieva@jef.eu

Link to the Application Form: https://bit.ly/36iXtK8 OR directly below: